British success built on 'misery and suffocation' of slave boats





Some 562 men, women and children made up the human cargo of the slave ship Feroz. Crammed beneath grate-covered hatchways between the decks, left to stew amid the stench of faeces and rotting bodies, each bore the mark of their owner, branded on their skin with a red-hot iron.

After boarding the ship bound for Brazil, Reverend Robert Walsh wrote: "The space was so low that they sat between each other's legs and [were] stowed so close there was no possibility of their lying down or changing their position by night or day. The [children] seemed indifferent as to life or death, and when they were carried on deck, many of them could not stand....

Trading in African slaves allowed Britain to become a world economic power and financing the Industrial Revolution.

Some 28 million Africans were transported and sold into slavery between 1450 and the early 19th century.

British slave vessels alone sailing between 1698 and 1807 carried more than three million slaves, according to estimates by historian David Richardson. Liverpool was the principle slaving port and half of all vessels would dock in the north west of England. London, Bristol and Glasgow shared the remaining spoils.



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